Fish Fumet (Stock) Sauce

Fish Fumet (Stock) Sauce

Makes about 10 servings. Recipe is from chef Darin Nesbit, Bourbon House, New Orleans, who says this can be used as an alternative to Lemon Beurre Blanc.

21 tbl. whole unsalted butter

1 cup diced onion

1 tbl. minced garlic

22 ½ lbs. fish bones, rinsed well (not heads)

¼ cup mushroom peelings

½ tsp. fresh thyme

3 sprigs parsley

1 tbl. lemon juice

¾ cup white wine

2 qts.2 water or fish stock or broth (which would make it much more flavorful)

1 tbl. heavy cream

2 tbls. butter

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste


1. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottom stock pot, melt butter and sweat onions and garlic for several minutes until soft. Add fish bones, mushrooms, thyme and parsley sprigs and cover pot. Steam contents for approximately 5 minutes2; remove cover, add lemon juice, white wine and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.

2. To make the sauce: Reduce fumet over medium heat by half, add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and cook for 1 minute. At this point you could add any flavorings you desire (for example, herbs or saffron) and finish by mounting in 2 tablespoons butter and seasoning with kosher salt and white pepper.

Note: If you are substituting this sauce for lemon butter, you may want to add additional lemon juice. Home cooks may prefer to buy clam juice or fish stock or broth instead of making the fumet and then reduce that by half. Add cream and finish with lemon juice and butter. For a pint of finished sauce, start with a quart of clam juice or fish broth.